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California Bill Would Give Unemployed Teachers Benefits While Training

Aired 8/3/12 on KPBS News.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow out-of-work teachers to collect unemployment while they’re training in high-demand subject areas.

Democratic Senator Noreen Evans authored the bill that she said would help unemployed teachers who want to get credentialed in science, math or special education. Under current law, if out-of-work teachers want that training, they lose their benefits. Evans said that's not fair.

"Basically it's making lemonade out of lemons, taking those teachers that are not able to find work right now and getting them ready to meet the needs of the future," explained Evans.

The bill passed the Senate earlier this year on a party line vote and is now in the Assembly. Senate Republicans said the intention of the legislation is good, but their analysis found it could have major state costs. If just a thousand teachers participated in the twenty-six week training, it could cost the state twelve million dollars.

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